In the age of digital marketing, mediums like newspapers, radio and cable television are expected to become obsolete sooner or later. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers had been quick to adopt online purchasing habits and methods. Advertisers had no choice but to embrace digital marketing to make sure they accommodated these new consumer behaviours.
The rate of digital adoption, however, accelerated further because of COVID-19. The virus forced everyone into their homes for months, increasing people’s reliance on digital channels and mediums for their purchasing needs.
With consumers more digitally dependent than ever, the question is: does radio advertising still have value? Or is it dead, like some industry experts say?
The answer is that Australians still love listening to the radio. Radio usage has been strong in the country before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the numbers below prove that.
Radio Listening Statistics in 2021
In the first quarter of 2020, 82 per cent of Australians still used their radios for news and entertainment, according to a study by Edison Research.
Most of these radio listeners used the station’s website for listening, with 39 per cent of Aussies relying on this source for AM, FM and DAB listening. Radio stations’ mobile apps and aggregators like RadioApp and TuneIn were also popular tools for radio listening.
Radio’s biggest contributor, however, is in-car listening. In 2020, 83 per cent of Australians chose to tune in to the radio while driving instead of CD players and online streaming services.
When the pandemic hit the country, people’s radio listening habits expectedly changed, although the numbers still show strong usage among Aussies. The Infinite Dial 2021 report shows that radio remains the dominant audio platform. Even though in-car listening dipped because of less travelling, more Aussies have started listening to the radio at home to accompany them while doing their household activities.
So, what do these statistics mean? They tell you that radio is still a widely used medium. With the number of Australians tuning in to their favourite stations daily, businesses can still leverage this advertising platform to broaden their market reach.
Benefits of Radio Advertising
Radio advertising is especially advantageous for businesses targeting a local audience. The biggest edge this marketing strategy has over others is that radio stations already have loyal listeners, so you’re sure that people will hear your ads. You can tap intoeach station or radio program’s listenership to increase awareness about your brand.
As such, radio advertising presents a wealth of opportunities for local small and medium businesses to promote a product or service and drive offline users to their website and other online channels.
Below are some of the benefits of radio advertising for Australian local small businesses.
Radio stations thoroughly analyse their listener profiles to see which demographic groups listen to different programs at different dayparts or times of the day. Radio programs are also crafted to appeal to the personalities of their listenership, depending on their demographic information.
The way radio stations segment their audiences makes it easier for you to choose the stations and time slots to air your ads. You can match your buyer personas with their listener profiles to make sure your message is reaching the audience with the highest chances of showing an interest in your brand.
This kind of smart targeting also makes radio ads less intrusive. Digital ads such as video and search ads tend to be interruptive, which consumers hate. People use ad blockers to avoid getting interrupted when they’re browsing, so your digital ads don’t reach their intended audience.
On the other hand, radio ads are delivered through programs whose listeners are likely to be interested in what you have to offer. This way, they won’t see your radio spot as an interruption and will engage enough to register the key message of the ad.
Radio advertising has significantly fewer costs involved compared to other forms of advertising. Video and print ads can rack up thousands in expenses because of the video equipment, studio time and actors. Radio ads don’t need all those resources to produce, so they’re cheaper.
The cost of radio ads depends on their length. The average radio spot is 30 seconds long but you can also go for 15-second ads that are more affordable.
The time slot of your ad also affects the costs. Typically, ads that play during breakfast and afternoon programs are more expensive than the ones that air during the mid-morning, afternoon and late evening.
Localised Ad Messaging
Radio is a more effective channel for delivering localised ads compared to digital marketing platforms. The listeners are already segmented per area, so you just have to choose the program or station that targets the demographic and location you’re trying to reach.
Additionally, many Aussies tune in to their radios for news, so they’re more receptive to information like events, community news and other local happenings. If you’re opening a new branch, for instance, radio ads would be the perfect avenue to make your announcement.
Your localised radio ads also complement your digital local marketing strategies. You can encourage listeners to visit one of your physical stores, leave reviews on your Yelp or attend one of your events.
Radio advertising performance is easier and quicker to monitor compared to other traditional marketing platforms. You can analyse your radio spot’s performance on a daily basis. If it’s not doing well after two weeks, you can tweak the messaging or change it entirely.
Some of the early indicators of successful radio advertising are increased site traffic, better quality traffic and higher site-visit-to-conversion rates. The KPIs vary depending on the goals of your radio advertising campaign, though.
How to Measure the Success of Your Radio Ads
You can determine the ROI of your radio ads by measuring your physical store foot traffic, website traffic or sales figures before and after the campaign. Below are other ways to measure the ROI of your radio ads.
Use a vanity URL
A vanity URL is a landing page on your website dedicated to the site visitors driven in by your radio ads. Having this specific page makes it easier for you to differentiate the traffic and leads you gain from your radio ad campaign from your other marketing strategies.
You can use analytics tools like Google Analytics to monitor the performance of your vanity URL and measure metrics such as page views, sessions and bounce rate.
Use a tracking phone number
Just like a vanity URL, a tracking phone number is exclusive to your radio ad campaign audience. This separates the people calling in from your radio ad from those calling because they heard about your brand in another way.
Use attribution tools
Attribution tools are sophisticated ways to determine the success of your marketing channels. They gather data on your customer touchpoints using cookies, tags or Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) code then analyses the role of each touchpoint in your conversions.
These measurement tools are often used to give you the big picture of your marketing strategy, collecting data from all the channels and mediums you’re using. To measure your radio ad campaign performance, you can subtract the site traffics and conversions you gained from your other marketing campaigns, such as SEO.
Ask new leads how they heard about you
Asking new leads and customers how they heard about you is a simple way to measure the performance of all your marketing strategies. You don’t have to create an elaborate survey to ask this question; a pop-up message on the checkout page or contact page should be enough.
Users hate answering long web forms so you want to go for a method that’s quick and easy — one that people can answer in just a few clicks.
Radio Advertising for Small Businesses
Just like any marketing strategy, radio advertising also has its drawbacks. It’s audio-only, so it’s difficult to make your ads as compelling and engaging as you want. Additionally, buying radio ad spots can be challenging when you’re up against larger brands.
You can overcome these drawbacks, however, as long as you write powerful ads and choose the right radio programs and time slots. You also want to integrate your radio ad campaign with your other marketing strategies. This way, you’re delivering a consistent message across your touchpoints, which helps cement your brand identity and increase brand awareness.
If you need assistance with planning your radio advertising campaign, Media Crew is here to guide you. Media Crew is an Australian one-stop advertising agency offering a range of services, including radio advertising.
Our team of specialists will help you throughout the duration of your campaign, from planning to execution and performance monitoring. With Media Crew, you’ll be able to craft the right ad message and deliver it to the right people through the right channels, increasing your opportunities for conversion.
Ready to try radio advertising? Fill out our online form to schedule a consultation.